Osaka factory develops air-tube bridge for use in disasters

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A prototype of a temporary bridge made of inflatable tubes is seen in Osaka City on Nov 11.

A factory in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, is developing a temporary bridge made of inflatable tubes that can be deployed quickly in the event of disasters. The device is expected to be used to rescue people stranded in areas near collapsed bridges.

In a demonstration, a 13-meter-long, 2-meter-diameter prototype was inflated with air, taking about 30 minutes, and positioned on support stands above a large blue sheet that represented a river. Although the bridge cannot be used for vehicles or some large equipment, a stretcher carrying a simulated victim was easily pulled from one side to the other.